Paul Niell

Arrow

My research considers the aesthetic, economic, and social constitution of houses and urban life in nineteenth-century Puerto Rican cities and towns. To this end, I investigate the role of a petitionary process orchestrated by the Spanish colonial state and Liberal elite of the island. These archived house petitions reveal much about the development of urban centers, particularly the interrelationships between domestic form and space, building materials, climate, fire, gentrification, capitalist agendas, and colonial social formation in terms of race, class, and gender. I combine my study of these files with on-site fieldwork, social histories, primary accounts, and a wide range of archival documents.

Drawings of caney and bohío, from Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, Historia general y natural de las Indias, 1535, Book VI. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Joannes de Laet, “Views of San Juan Bautista on Puerto Rico, showing two views of the Castillo San Felipe del Morro and a view of San Juan from the harbor. Also includes dwellings, cross, and ships,” Historie ofte Iaerlijck verhael van de verrichtinghen der Geoctroyeerde West Indische Compagnie, zedert haer begin, tot het eynde van 't jaer sesthien-hondert ses-en-dertich…, 1644. Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library.

Augusto Plée, “El Pueblo de Fajardo a Puerto Rico,” 1821. Musee d’Historie Naturelle, Paris, France.

“Coffee Picker’s Hut and Family at Guanabo, Porto Rico.” c. 1898. Photograph, Our Islands and Their People, Vol. I, p. 288. Special Collections & Archives, FSU Libraries.

“View of the Town of Aibonito.” c. 1898-9. Photograph, Our Islands and Their People, Vol. II, p. 406. Special Collections & Archives, FSU Libraries.

Façade of the house that Doña Rosario Andino de Bacener wants to construct, October 10, 1863. Archivo General de Puerto Rico, San Juan. Photo, Paul Niell.

Panorama of San Juan, Puerto Rico, c. 1860. New York Public Library.

Juan N. Ríos, Panorama de Ponce, 1855. Museo Histórico de Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Detail, Panorama de Ponce, 1855. Museo Histórico de Ponce, Puerto Rico. Photo, Paul Niell.

House at 71 Cristina Street, Ponce, Puerto Rico, 1883. Photo, Paul Niell.

Façade of the wooden house that Doña Tomasa Aromis de Rivas is constructing at 47 Comercio Street, roofed in galvanized iron with brick walls, Ponce, Puerto Rico, 1881. Archivo Histórico Municipio de Ponce. Photo, Paul Niell.

Project for a house on Marina Street, Ponce, Puerto Rico, 1895. Archivo Histórico Municipio de Ponce. Photo, Paul Niell.

Façade and section of house on Hospital Street, Ponce, Puerto Rico, 1886. Archivo Histórico Municipio de Ponce. Photo, Paul Niell.

Casa Santini, c. 1880, Coamo, Puerto Rico. Photo, FSU Archaeological Field School.

Sala (living room), Casa Santini, c. 1880, Coamo, Puerto Rico. Photo, FSU Archaeological Field School.

North Elevation, Casa Santini. Coamo, Puerto Rico. Drawing, Kyle Killian.

Plan: reconstruction based on archaeological evidence in dark grey, current state of the building in light grey. Coamo, Puerto Rico. Drawing, Kyle Killian.

Department

Art History

Connect With Paul

Connections

While there is no overarching theme that unites every faculty member in this exhibition, everyone is connected to someone else through a web of ideas and provocations. We encourage you to use these tags to navigate from one scholar to the next, while understanding that these concepts do not fully account for the depth and nuance of the work you are encountering.

Next Project

Elizabeth A. Osborne

Discover What It Takes Arrow